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As England begins its campaign of India under a new captain in Alastair Cook, Andy Bull, writing in the Guardian, points out similarities between him and Australia's captain Michael Clarke and predicts that Cook would be a positive captain. Clarke took over a team that was going through 'a slump', and Cook should learn from him.
Both men served for three years as deputies, readying themselves for the top job. Neither has enjoyed much of a career as a T20 player, and in that both are free of distractions it brings. Like Cook, Clarke took over a team in a slump. Like Cook, Clarke has a battalion of young pace bowlers to manage. And like Cook, he has had to manage some awkward players. Australia, though, could afford to cut Simon Katich out of their team, England cannot do the same with Pietersen.
Cook is going to be too busy to keep much of an eye on what is happening six thousand or so miles away in Australia, but if he wants a hint or two on how to handle his transition, it wouldn't be the worst place to look.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, writing in the The Telegraph, provides his assessment of what Cook needs to focus on to be a successful England captain, and gives a few tips on how to tackle the tour of India.
Cook will have his vision of where he wants England to be, both at the end of this tour and in the long term. In India, above all, he will want his team to compete. Against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates England were blown away a couple of times by their spinners, Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman: they almost panicked and were bowled out cheaply. This time he will want to see calmness and control in England's batting.
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